By Jared Keene, Metrowest Daily News Staff
Scott Elliot had no shortage of offers on the table to play football at the next level.
The Holliston senior was offered by Army, UMass-Amherst, and every Ivy League school except Yale, among others, all wanting the signature of the talented two-way lineman, who has been one of the best in the state on both sides of the ball during his time with the Panthers.
But not only did Elliot decide to stay local, he decided to go with the school that was the first to offer him: none other than Harvard University. Elliot had already committed to the Crimson, but it became official when he signed his national letter of intent Wednesday afternoon at Holliston High School.
Elliot, who was joined by his family, teammates, friends, and head coach Todd Kiley, couldn’t be more excited to finally accomplish something he’s been wanting to do since he was a little kid.
“It’s a crazy feeling, but I’ve had this dream of playing college football since I was four years old,” he said. “To finally have this done and officially be signed is awesome, and I’m excited to be going to the best university in the country. I’m just really excited for the next four years.
“I had a lot of offers from a lot of great schools with great football programs, but Harvard was my first offer and I think they were the first ones that really believed in me playing at the next level. The coaching staff made a great impression on both my parents and me, and when I went on my official visit a couple weeks ago, I knew it was the right fit. I love Cambridge, there’s a lot to do around there, and obviously the education is top notch.”
At 6-foot-3, 275 pounds, Elliot has been an absolute animal battling in the trenches over the last four years.
Even when Elliot was a freshman, Kiley and his coaching staff knew he was going to be a special player following in the footsteps of 2017 grad and current Tufts Jumbo Mark Mulvaney. Holliston’s coaches couldn’t have been more spot on about their assessment of Elliot.
On the offensive side of the ball, Elliot was primarily a tackle, displaying tremendous blocking technique, quick feet, and an extremely high football IQ. But this season, Kiley and offensive line coach Jim Perry decided to move Elliot to guard, well aware that he’s going to transition to either guard or center at Harvard.
“He’s definitely going to be an interior guy, either a guard or center at that level, which we knew – Division 1-wise – that’s where he’d be playing,” Kiley said. “He’s smart enough and athletic enough to play any of the five spots on the offensive line. He has all the tools. He’ll continue to get stronger, you’ve got to be strong to play inside. But he is marketable because of how versatile he is. There’s no question he’s going to work as hard as he can to put himself in position to compete at that level.”
Elliot also made his presence felt on the defensive line, with the ability to clog holes, stop the run, and make his way into the backfield, either for sacks or tackles for loss. It’s the offensive line, however, where Elliot will display his talent, which he was able to take to a new level with the Panthers.
“Coach Kiley, coach Perry, and coach (Paul) Athy did a great job developing me as a player,” he said. “They made me a better player and it really all started in each offseason. They made it a big deal to get in the weight room, get faster, get stronger, and I think that’s what really separated me. I came here with some good tools and some good technique, but they definitely developed me as an athlete getting stronger, getting my weight room numbers up, and I think that was the biggest thing.”
Elliot will be joining a legendary Harvard program coached by Tim Murphy, who took over in 1994. The Crimson have won 17 Ivy League titles – trailing only the 18 of Dartmouth and Penn – and seven national titles.
This season, Harvard finished 6-4, which included winning all three of its games in November over Columbia (52-18), Penn (29-7), and of course, its main rival Yale (45-27) in the 135th playing of “The Game,” which was played at Fenway Park this year. But beyond the football, Elliot knows what attending Harvard is all about.
“Well first off, with it being in Boston, I’m only about 35-40 minutes away from home,” he said. “And my grandma, who is from Natick, has been telling me my entire life that if I get to Harvard, I’m set. The education is going to be life changing and I’m really excited for all the opportunities I’m going to have.”
When it comes down to it, Harvard is getting one heck of a player and one heck of an individual.